THE SOLDIERS FOR STROGER TRUTH SQUAD
Mark S. Allen, Chairman
"The Soldiers For Stroger say "We told you so," in that no matter what Strogers campaign opposition in candidates and media and others would say, that The County was going to need the revenue fro the controversial sales tax and that the media and political frenzy was nothing politics. Now that Democratic has now publicly admitted after the election, what Predient Stroger gas beeb saying all along the campaign, where is the outrage from businesses thtreatening to leave the county because they cant afford to stay etc.?
Alderman Preckwinkle now says that the deficit she seeis is almost at $500 million dollars of which Stroger repeatedly stated during thew campaign that $300 million alone in health care and public safety costs was why the tax was needed but the media and his opponenets absolutely swore that they could make all kinds of cuts to cover the deficit and did notneed the Stroget tax and that he should be thrown out of office for steadiliy using his veto to protect the tax money.
We had over 500 to 1,000 street workers in our Soldiers For Stroger TRUTH SQUAD trying our bewst to convince voters that Stroger was doing the right thing, at the right time, for the right reason. I appeared on so many talk shows, press conferences, rallies and did repeated releases, but we all could not overcome the overwhelming beat down of the President and how was bringing the County down by sticking to keeping the tax funds.
And now with ease, Alderman Preckwinkle can come to the same conclusion as Stroger without all of the media and political frenzy thaty Stroger faced, which oince again proves the point I made all along during the campaign in that the Stroger truth meant absolutely nothing to his media and political opponents. But that truth is now the legitimacy of Alderman Preckwinkle." Mark Allen
Preckwinkle: Cutting sales tax will take longer
Democrat blames worsening Cook County budget woes
Consumers will have to wait until 2012 at the earliest for repeal of the remaining half-penny increase in the Cook County sales tax, the Democratic nominee for County Board president said today, citing a growing budget shortfall that she said she's been told could approach $500 million.
Ald. Toni Preckwinkle (4th) has campaigned for County Board president on a promise to repeal, over time, the remaining half-penny tax increase.
But Preckwinkle said that, based on conversations she's had this week with county government insiders, the timetable for repeal needs to be longer than she'd anticipated and than consumers would like.
"Conservative estimates that I was presented show a $250 million gap," Preckwinkle said at an appearance today. "And the more dire predictions are closer to $400-to-$500 million."
Preckwinkle blamed three factors for the worsening budget picture: the impending loss of federal economic stimulus funds; repeal of the first half-penny of the county sales-tax increase; and an economy that "continues to stagnate or very, very slowly improve."
Preckwinkle said that doesn't mean she won't keep her campaign promise to get rid of the remaining half-penny of the sales-tax increase that led to the political demise of incumbent Cook County Board President Todd Stroger.
But it does mean it'll take until 2012, "at the earliest," to deliver on that promise, she said.
"Why would I, walking in the door, complicate an extremely difficult situation by proposing that in addition to the problems I've already got," she said.
"I never said I was gonna do it when I walked in the door. I thought that was irresponsible because I didn't have a good sense of what the financial conditions were. Since Feb. 2, we've put a lot of energy into trying to figure out what we're ... heading into. And the short answer is, we're heading into a buzzsaw."
Given the harsh financial reality Stroger's successor is confronting, Preckwinkle was asked whether it was a mistake for Counthy Board members to repeal the first half-penny, by finally overriding the last of several Stroger vetoes.
She diplomatically said the board "made the best decision they could at the time."
"What the commissioners saw was a firestorm of constituent reaction to having the highest sales tax in the country, at 10.25 percent, and responded to that in a way they believe reflected their constituents' concerns," she said.
Although Preckwinkle faces Republican Roger Keats in November's general election, she's already consulting with County Board Finance Committee Chairman John Daley, the mayor's brother, about the transition.
"He believes that we're gonna have to make 15 percent cuts in the county budget to reflect the declining revenues," Preckwinkle said.
John Daley could not immediately be reached for comment.
Stroger has been under fire for authorizing lame-duck hirings, pay raises and contracts, many of them under the $25,000 threshold that requires County Board approval.
What does Preckwinkle think of the way Stroger is conducting himself during his final months in office?
She would only say, "It's not the choice I would make in his place."